Every employer has a different policy on how and when to pay their employees when they are absent from work with illness. As a minimum, your employer must pay you £85.85 per week for up to 28 weeks. This only applies when you are off work for more than four consecutive working days, you must earn £107 per week to qualify, and there are other limitations to your SSP entitlement. No matter how much you get, it will be subject to tax and national insurance.
Many employers will pay you more than the statutory amount but usually limit this to a much shorter length of time, or total sick days taken per year. If your employer does not offer this, or if you have already used your entitlement of full sick pay; having to deal with lessened earnings from statutory sick pay can be stressful, and even detrimental to recovery.
Follow these tips on how to deal with statutory sick pay – helpful whether you’re facing months off work, or facing a drop in earnings from a shorter period of absence.
The main thing to remember is to know your rights. Owners of small businesses may not realise they have to pay statutory sick pay, or might try to stop you accessing it. If you make sure you are as prepared as possible with a contingency plan for what to do while waiting for your pay to get back to normal, you will be able to relieve the financial burden and focus on getting better.
Of course, the best way to deal with statutory sick pay is to have savings or insurance that relieve the burden of a thinner pay packet. It’s not always easy to put money aside, particularly in these financial times, but saving money to cover living expenses in an emergency should be your priority, especially if you have dependents.
Another side to being prepared is to know in advance what will happen if you do need to access statutory sick pay. Many people who work full-time with one employer are technically self-employed as freelance – this has its benefits but restricts your access to statutory sick pay.
The first thing you should do when faced with statutory sick pay is to work out what expenses you can live without. You may initially think that all your costs are necessary – but force yourself to be tough and really analyse everything.
Can you cut your phone bill by using a cheaper handset or by restricting 3G usage? Do you need all those digital channels? Can you order a grocery delivery from a cheaper supermarket than the oh-so-convenient high-end supermarket around the order?
If you don’t have savings as a buffer zone, you may need to look for recommended payday loans to tide you through until your pay packet gets back to normal. Even if you’ve only been off for part of the month, this can make a big difference to your cash flow, and you may just need some help until your next full pay day.
Your needs must but be wise – do your research and make sure you know the full terms of your loan and how much you’ll be paying back.